When Godin meets software development

If you’re a regular reader of this blog (thank you, thank you!) you know that I’m a big fan of Seth Godin, especially his latest book “Linchpin”. This week I attended a presentation about Agile and SOA and I remembered Linchpin again (I was particularly curious to hear about Agile ever since I’ve seen one or two tweets that stated that Agile methodologies could help with the implementation of Enterprise 2.0).

Agile software developed is defined by Wikipedia as

“…group of software development methodologies based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams.

The term was coined in the year 2001 when the Agile Manifesto was formulated.

Agile methods generally promote a disciplined project management process that encourages frequent inspection and adaptation, a leadership philosophy that encourages teamwork, self-organization and accountability, a set of engineering best practices intended to allow for rapid delivery of high-quality software, and a business approach that aligns development with customer needs and company goals.”

And it was exactly the “rapid delivery” part that reminded me of the “shipping” concept that Godin advocates. Simply put, we tend to hide behind the “it’s not ready yet / it’s not perfect yet” excuses instead of just delivering our work – shipping – and tweaking it afterwards if necessary. I’m far from being an expert on software development but from what I could understand an Agile development delivers projects incrementally at the end of each sprint (a brief period of around two weeks or so).

As far as Agile and Enterprise 2.0 goes, the fact that the project is accomplished incrementally, that the business is continually involved and that release occurs as soon as possible, with the software being corrected constantly based on users feedback, seems like the perfect approach for the challenges and requirements of an Enterprise 2.0 deployment.

Bad news is: in practice it’s not as easy as it seems…

PS – my hectic agenda as prevented me from blogging as much as I would like. Will try to correct that after the 1st of June (date of an important conference that I’m helping to organize featuring David Armano as keynote speaker). But no promises though…

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